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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 02/01/2013

Letters of Interest: Princeton Day’s Brandon Better shows he’s not just Aquille Carr’s sidekick

Just about everywhere Princeton Day plays this season, it can expect a large crowd. The reason, of course, is 5-foot-7 Aquille Carr, who is guaranteed to draw a few “ooos” and “aaahs” with his electrifying play.

But as fans flock to local gymnasiums to see Carr, they’re also likely to be impressed with the other member of Princeton Day’s back court: Brandon Better.

The junior guard can fill it up from the outside and attacks the rim with deceptive speed. For as much as he benefits from the attention Carr draws, Better is equally important in setting up his teammates on a squad that averages 82.6 points per game.

“I try to think one step ahead of my opponent,” Better said. “We have so many weapons and I’ve found that instead of thinking so much, if I rely on my instincts and act on what I see, it can open up a lot for me and my teammates.”

When Carr missed three games recently with a hand injury, Better took on more of a shoot-first mentality to fill the void. The junior proved plenty capable of pacing the Storm, averaging 26 points over the course of three straight wins.

“I knew I had to put more points on the board with Aquille out, so I was more aggressive and did a lot of the dirty work for the team,” said Better, who is averaging 16.5 points this season. “I just try to be strong and crafty because people don’t know how athletic I am until they play against me.”

Indeed, Better can catch opponents by surprise with his scoring and penetration ability. For instance, when I saw him in the Storm’s first meeting with National Christian on Jan. 3, he scored 16 points in the game’s first seven minutes on an array of threes and and-ones off drives to the basket.

“He’s so intelligent and that carries over into his game on the court, where he knows how to set himself up to score,” Storm Coach Van Whitfield said. “Because he can do that, it allows him to play off Aquille well and make an impact.”

Because of his on-court play and a score of 2200 on the PSAT, Better has received interest from the likes of Harvard, Penn, Mount St. Mary’s, Clemson and Cincinnati and an offer from Kennesaw State.

That list is sure to expand over the next year, as the Storm will likely lean more on Better’s all-around skills when Carr departs for college after this season.

As is often the case, Thursday’s game schedule was pretty light.

In the game to watch, St. Andrew’s held off Flint Hill, 59-53, in Mid-Atlantic Conference action. St. James jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter before the Huskies stormed back with 29 points in the fourth peiord. But it proved too little too late as Marcus Adkinson led the Saints with 15 points.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 42

Points scored by Broad Run’s Khiorie Stewart in an 80-77 loss to Patriot on Thursday. The junior drained nine three-pointers but it wasn’t enough to snap the Spartans’ six-game losing streak.

BREAKFAST LINKS

●Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky is back to being a “normal” high school student at Stone Ridge, and as Roman Stubbs writes, that’s just fine by the sophomore swimmer.

●By day, Christy Winters Scott is coach of the South Lakes girls’ basketball team. By night, the 1986 All-Met Player of the Year is a sports broadcaster. In between, she’s a devoted wife and mother of three. Preston Williams explains how she juggles it all.

●With National Signing Day approaching, check out this ESPN feature on how an oral commitment has become anything but a sure thing.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
No. 2 O’Connell at No. 4 Paul VI

After falling just short against top-ranked Gonzaga on Tuesday, Paul VI hosts O’Connell, which is tied for first in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. The Knights beat Paul VI, 53-50, in the season’s first meeting within this heated rivalry.

By Brandon Parker  |  09:00 AM ET, 02/01/2013

 
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